The Australian Women's Cricket team continued their streak with a thrilling last-ball victory against India. They now lead by 4 points in the Australia-India series.
Australia and India played their second ODI in a seven match mixed-format series on September 24, 2021. The Aussies were hoping for a win to extend their historic streak to 26 straight unbeaten ODIs, the most of any team men or women at the international level.
The Australian women won the toss and like their first match three days earlier they elected to bowl first. Opener Rachael Haynes was injured for this ODI and was replaced by Nicola Carey in the XI.
Australia XI: Alyssa Healy (wk), Beth Mooney, Meg Lanning (c), Ellyse Perry, Ashleigh Gardner, Tahlia McGrath, Nicola Carey, Sophie Molineux, Georgia Wareham, Hannah Darlington, Darcie Brown.
India XI: Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Yastika Bhatia, Mithali Raj (c), Richa Ghosh (wk), Deepti Sharma, Pooja Vastrakar, Jhulan Goswami, Meghna Singh, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav.
The Indian women performed better in this first innings then they did in the first ODI. Openers Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma started very well, combining for 74 in the first 12 overs.
It was spinner Sophie Molineux's intervention when she bowled Verma (22) out that stopped the rapid rise. Australia were then able to gradually reduce the run rate for the next ten overs and start to take wickets. Lanning ran out Mithali Raj (8) at 2-88 followed by Brown getting a wicket off Yastika Bhatia (3) at 3-95.
Talia McGrath then produced a career-best 3-45 getting wickets from Mandhana (86), Richa Ghosh (44) and finally Deepti Sharma (23) at 6-221. Molineux then got a second wicket bowling Pooja Vastraka (29) at 7-274. In total India lost seven wickets and left Australia chasing 275 from their innings.
The second innings did not start out well. Alyssa Healy got bowled for a duck by a beautiful delivery from Jhulan Goswami in the third ball of the innings.
Lanning (6) then got caught out in the fifth over followed by Ellyse Perry (2) being run out in the ninth and Ashleigh Gardner (12) getting caught out in the fifteenth over. The fall of Healy, Lanning and Perry was the lowest combined aggregate of runs produced by there batting trio in their 98 innings together.
Finding themselves 4-52 in the sixteenth over, the Aussies rallied in what turned into a thrilling pursuit. Beth Mooney, who had opened, combined with McGrath in the game's pivotal partnership.
McGrath was the first to reach a half century in the 32nd over to be quickly followed by Mooney a few ball later. McGrath made it to 74 before being caught out by Yastika.
Carey then came on and started a partnership of her own with Mooney. Mooney was able to reach her century but it looked like the chase would be difficult, the Aussies needing 33 runs off the last three overs.
It looked looked like the streak was all over just before the end of the innings. Needing three runs off the final delivery, Carey got caught after hitting the ball straight to the square leg. However, the umpires ruled it a no ball.
This left the Aussies needing two from the final ball of the game, a free hit. Carey hit the ball well and both players were able to get the final two runs to keep the streak alive.
The Australians face India for the final ODI of the mixed-format series tomorrow on Sunday, September 26 giving them another chance to extend their undefeated ODI streak to 27.